Oakland Trades Down to Get Their Man, 49ers Nab a Safety

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 15: Darrius Heyward-Bey #12 of the Oakland Raiders looks for the ball during their game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on November 15, 2009 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

    The Oakland Raiders traded their first pick of the second round to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so the Bucs could draft wide receiver Arrelious Benn.

    The Raiders then traded their pick again to the New England Patriots. The team finally made their pick at No. 44 when the team took Lamarr Houston, a defense tackle from Texas.

    "I'm happy," Houston said after being drafted. "It's a blessing. Im going to be back in California where I was born. My home away from home. I'm bringing a winning tradition, the University of Texas baby. That's how we do it."

    NFL analyst Mike Mayock was impressed with the pick as well.

    "Another solid pick from the Raiders," he said.

    The San Francisco 49ers picked speed safety Taylor Mays from USC.

    But the St. Louis Rams opened the second day of the NFL draft by keeping their first pick. They took Indiana offensive tackle Rodger Saffold.
         
    The Rams took quarterback Sam Bradford with the No. 1 pick on Thursday, and moved to protect that investment by taking Saffold with the 33rd overall selection Friday night.

    The 6-4, 312-pound Saffold started 41 games in his college career and was a second-team All-Big Ten pick as a senior.

    During his tenure in the lineup, the Hoosiers had 29 100-yard games.

    The Rams hung onto the pick despite widespread rumors they would be willing to trade down. They've been dissatisfied with incumbent left tackle Alex Barron.

    The Minnesota Vikings followe by taking cornerback Chris Cook of Virginia in the second round of the NFL draft.
         
    The Vikings picked Cook with the 34th overall selection on Friday.
         
    The Vikings acquired the pick the day before by trading their first-rounder, No. 30 overall, to Detroit. The Vikings and Lions also swapped fourth-rounders, and Detroit sent Minnesota a seventh-round selection as part of the deal.
         
    Vikings officials liked enough of the early second-round prospects to move down and wait for the second day of the draft to select their first player.
         
    Cook has good size for his position at 6-foot-2 and 212 pounds. His career at Virginia was hindered by injuries and academic problems, but he had a strong senior season, leading the Cavaliers with four interceptions.

    Next the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have added more help for a struggling defensive line, selecting UCLA tackle Brian Price with the third pick in the second round of the NFL draft on Friday night.
         
    Price was the Pac 10 defensive player of year at UCLA last season. He made 23 1-2 tackles for loss and had had seven sacks in 2009.
         
    The Bucs began their draft by taking Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy with the third pick of the first round. The team has a need for playmakers on offense, particularly at wide receiver, but is also committed to fixing a run defense that ranked last in the league against the run in 2009.

    The Kansas City Chiefs took Ole Miss offensive threat Dexter McCluster with their first pick in the second round of the NFL draft. The running was backed
         
    The 5-foot-8, 165-pound McCluster could be used in a variety of ways, as a receiver, running back or return specialist. The Chiefs will most likely ask him to return kicks since they already have two running backs coming off 1,000-yard rushing seasons -- Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones.
         
    Jones signed a free agent contract after helping lead the New York Jets into last season's playoffs.
         
    Coaches in the Southeastern Conference listed McCluster as all-conference as both a running back and wide receiver.

    The Philadelphia Eagles have selected South Florida defensive back Nate Allen in the second round of the NFL draft.
         
    The Eagles picked Allen with the 37th overall selection on Friday.
         
    They acquired this pick in the trade that sent six-time Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb to Washington earlier this month.
         
    Allen, listed at 6-foot-1, 207 pounds, played free safety, though some scouts project him as a cornerback. The Eagles have been looking for a free safety since losing Brian Dawkins in free agency last year.
         
    Previously, the Eagles selected Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham with the 13th overall pick.